IAG orders 18 Dreamliner jets from Boeing despite safety tests
Nikhil Kumar is The Independent's New York correspondent. He was formerly assistant editor on the foreign desk and has also done a variety of jobs on the city desk, where he wrote about markets, commodities and other business and economics topics.
Thursday 04 April 2013
Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner remains grounded after a series of battery fires triggered an investigation by aviation regulators - but that hasn’t stopped IAG, the parent company of British Airways, from firming up orders for 18 of the new jets, in a move that will boost hopes that the airplane could soon return to the air.
IAG said last night that it was converting existing options into 18 firm orders for British Airways. The new planes will replace some of the airline’s 747-400s between 2017 ad 2021.
News of the orders comes as Boeing tests a fix for the battery problems that led international regulators to ground the jets earlier this year. The airline yesterday said it had completed more than half of the testing on its proposed fix, which will need to be approved by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before the planes are allowed to fly again. The testing is being conducted at Boeing labs on the ground in the US, and with test flights.
IAG said that alongside the British Airways order, which needs to be approved by shareholders, it was also in talks with Boeing about potential 787 orders for Spain’s Iberia, which it also owns.
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